Fierce Conversations and Early AM Non-Adventures {52 Books}

Apparently getting up early makes me boring.

At least that is what I have been told in a passive-agressive manner on many occasions. Early mornings and early evening characterize my life and I am constantly made fun of, chastised, and teased about it. I used to be proud of my discipline, but now I am simply annoyed that people find my life boring and want to constantly comment on it.

Why is leaving an event on a ‘school night‘ at 8:30 or 9:00 boring?

In fact, I got so annoyed the other day I put the question out on Facebook to see if I was completely ridiculous for getting up early. It turns out I right in the middle of the pack for early risers and there are more than two of us – heck there are tons of us!

44 people responded. Bedtime ranges anywhere from 6:30pm - 3:30 am...basically there is no right time, but people tend to get 6-9 hours of sleep.

44 people responded. Bedtimes ranged anywhere from 6:30pm – 3:30 am…basically there is no right time, but people tend to get 6-9 hours of sleep.

Question – why is it socially more acceptable to stay up until 4 am than get up at 4 am?

My life isn’t super exciting. I don’t randomly wake up each day, assess my life, and the choose something awesome to conquer. Nor do I go to every party, adventure or gathering available to me – it may literally kill me if I did.

I do the same thing nearly every single day of my life and try to carve out times to dream and the find a way to slowly make the dream happen and come to life.

Boring looks something like this…

  • 4:20 am – The alarm goes off and I meander with one eye open to the kitchen to pour my first cup of coffee from my amazing coffee pot that has a timer on it. God bless Kitchen Aid!
  • 4:30 am – Sit at my desk with my GTD file folder, pay bills, respond to client emails, and set my tasks and calendar for the day.
  • 5:00 am – Writing. This may involve blogging, journaling, working on a personal essay, or picking away at my book. Sometimes this is simply staring at the computer screen while I work through the words that are in my heart. Some days 2,500 words get written…others 63. The goal is 500 – I don’t always meet my goal and that is ok, trying is what is important.
  • 6:00 am – Make a ruckus in the house by eating breakfast, packing up lunches, gathering things for the gym and whatever else I need for the marathon day ahead.
  • 6:45 am – Lift heavy things at the gym and get the endorphins going. Sweat is a wonderful thing!
  • 9:00 am – At the office and coaching amazing people. Sometimes I take breaks. I eat meals and drink coffee and water while doing other things. I have been known to have food in my hair for a few hours before I notice…apparently I am not good at multi-tasking.
  • 3:00 pm – look at the clock and realize it is 3:00 pm…where the heck has the day gone? This is also about the time when I realize I have food in my hair…
  • 5:30 pm – Run home and try to drive a route where I can do one of my bazillion adult errands on the way home – grocery store, bank, costco, drop something off, pick something up, mail things, library…etc.
  • 6:17 pm– Eat something and assess the rest of my day before the evening activities begin or don’t begin.
  • 6:30 pm – Evening activities commence. Meetings, coaching clients, social activities, friends, dishes, laundry, house cleaning, cooking or simply sitting on my arse due to being unable to do much else. Some days take everything out of me.
  • 8:12 pm – Start yawning and feeling tired and useless. This is never good when I am out in a social capacity. I try to the do the closed mouth yawn or go to the bathroom to have an epic yawn fest in an effort to get it out of my system – this never works. I resist the temptation to drink coffee.
  • 8:50 pm – Fill up the coffee pot and set the timer, try to find the kitchen counter, and eat some dark chocolate.
  • 9:10 pm – In bed pretending to read. When my book hits me in the head, I know the ruse is up.
  • 9:30 pm – Asleep, trying to hit a few REM cycles in order to kick butt the following day.

I think I had a small stroke while writing this out….

I know you’re probably asking, “Why did she just tell me all of this?”

I need space in my life. Quiet. Time to think, reflect, and pause. Time to fill up before I have a day of being with others and working hard – without it I get cranky fast.

Fierce Conversations.

This book is amazing. Read this book.

I could go on and on about why this book is great – it guides you through how to have purposeful conversations with yourself and others, full of practical tips and ways to create meaningful conversations, and teaches you to hear and be heard well.


As a coach, I deeply appreciate this book. The main point of the book is to build honest, kind, and deep conversations, also known as fierce, since the relationship is the conversation.

I do not recommend reading it straight through in a day or two.

If you do, you run the risk of thinking, “Wow, that is great. I should totally do that…” and then never put it into practice and losing the gift of learning how to have Fierce Conversations. How to change your life, one conversation at a time.

One of my rules for my 52 Book Challenge is that I can read a book over the course of a few weeks. The only caveat is that I finish a book a week. Fierce Conversations is a book you want to read slowly, chew on, and apply what you learn as you learn it.

The week I finished it off by reading the last chapter – Let Silence Do the Heavy Lifting.

After the days and weeks I have been having, this chapter came as a balm to my soul. I had just finished a full week of work and even more work, more fierce conversations than one woman can handle without crying a few times, and activities galore.

There was nothing left in me and I desperately needed some silence.



The final gems of the book could not have come at a better time for me:

  • The best leaders talk with people, not at them.
  • It is a phenomenon of our times that, for many people, silence is almost unendurable. Silence makes us nervous. As adults, we fear that silence may be interpreted as low self-esteem or questionable intelligence. Many feel silence is a form of non-participation, signalling lack of interest.
  • There are insights and emotions that can find you in no other way than through and with in silence. This is true for our conversations with others as well.
  • Never mistake activity for achievement and never mistake talking for conversation.

Before any of us can hope to engage others in wonderfully fierce conversations, we must engage ourselves in dialogue so sweet, so fierce, so filled with silences that we can hear our own heartbeat. Look in a mirror. Look deep. What might you hear if you sat in silence and converse with that person in the mirror? Perhaps she has much to tell you.

This is why I love early mornings.

I need quiet mornings when I get to talk to myself, hear what is actually going on, and write in order to be able to do a good job in the day and to fully be myself.

So I will continue to get up, ignore the shock and awe from people when they hear I go to bed at 9:00, and get on with my purpose.

I am committed to hearing myself so I can truly hear others to enable us to do what we are supposed to do in the world.

Oftentimes truth shouts loudest in silence.

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  1. Seems like everyone these days has an opinion on other people’s lives and they’re not afraid to share it. Opinions are like a-holes: everyone has one and it usually stinks. 🙂 I vote you live your life the way YOU want to live it. Do things that fulfill YOU and contribute to your emotional gas tank. Other people can be judging – that’s their prerogative, but it doesn’t have to affect how you live your life and how you feel about your schedule. Who are they to know what’s right for you? And I agree about silence – it’s so refreshing sometimes.

    • HAH! I love you. You make me laugh. <3 And it is so true, why do people feel the need to comment on everyone's lives? It drove me nuts when I was training for my competition and it still drives me nuts when people hear about the early mornings. I think it interests them, but they don't know what to do with the fact that they wouldn't do it is weird. And if it is weird, they feel the need to try to make you normal / make you do what they are doing so they can be happy around you. I don't care what they do as long as they just stop commenting and harassing me about my choices. 🙂

  2. melissa cunningham says

    i agree with Kari!
    and if it makes you feel better, I would be in bed by 8pm,if my schedule allowed for it!
    : )

    and in regards to silence,(and speaking to others) one of the most profound statements my Opa ever made to me
    “You don’t always have to be the center of conversations or attention. Sometimes you can learn much more by simply listening and observing what is going on around you. You don’t always have to speak when you are around others. Sometimes being silent works in your favor, and will let you see things for what they are and not what words cloud them up to be”

    this was said to me when i was 12 years old and frustrated that i was not the pretty,social butterflies that my older sisters were. when i was this age, I was painfully shy and awkward. This piece of advice has stayed with me all these years, as i have sat many times in silence amidst busy moments, observing and sometimes gaining a clearer insight on what is really being said, without saying a word……
    : )

    • It is interesting what happens when you listen instead of just talk. One of the things she talks about in the book is the way we wait to talk next instead of listen to each other. So true!

  3. The recovering nightaholic in me greatly admires the ‘frontloading’ you do each day. I loved this post! I’ve been thinking of picking up Tim’s copy of Fierce Conversations. Thanks for the nudge.

  4. Yup, what Kari said! 😀
    If your sleep schedule allows you to be the best Donloree that you can be, then cool!
    I’ve recently returned to my morning person schedule of waking up at 5:30 a.m. with no alarm going off and I am uber productive and stress free in the mornings. I make no apologies to people for sleeping 9 hours a day; lack of sleep makes me a not-so-nice person.
    I’m glad you wrote this post, now I don’t feel so guilty about going to bed early, skipping out on late nights during weekdays and waking up calm n’ happy instead of rushed and stressed.
    I’m still on book number 1 & 2, I’m so behind. I’m currently reading both 12 Years a Slave and A Year of Biblical Womanhood! Both good books so far.

    • Glad the post helped! I am more happy to be purposeful in the things that I do rather than just haphazard. I guess this makes me a weird woman! I am just happy to know there are more than just ‘one of us’ out there. I try to sleep in on the weekends, but I just can’t. I wake up around 5:00 and I am up. So I get up and do a bazillion things that make me happy and try to ignore the complainers when I need to leave at 8:45 pm. 12 Years a Slave – we watched that movie and I don’t know if I could read the book. I would love to hear your thoughts on it when you’re done. Keep being amazing!

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